Dogs really are man’s best friend. But, you might feel more like frenemies when you go outside and you see that your best friend’s dog pee is killing your grass.
The good news is it’s pretty easy to fix the damage that your dog has done, and you can make a designated peeing area for them to solve the problem permanently.
Why Dog Pee Kills Grass
The reason why dog pee is killing your grass is that it has a high level of nitrogen. The nitrogen in dog urine acts the same way as bleach would (bleach kills grass).
If you’re thinking “I thought nitrogen was a fertilizer”. You would be right. The problem is, when it comes to the dog, the way that they pee is harmful.
Female dogs in particular will squat directly on a very small portion of grass and release without moving. This high concentration of nitrogen in a very small amount of space is too much for the grass to handle. Your lawn ends up looking spotty, or your grass turns yellow.
Male dogs will usually cock one leg to the side to the side and go on a tree, stump, or something that they can leave their mark on.
They also tend to go to the bathroom at the boundaries of the yard. So even if they do end up killing some grass, it’s usually at the boundaries of the property and not such a big deal.
More often than not, as long as the dog in question is not going to the bathroom in the same spot every single time a healthy yard will recover from a little urine.
How to Fix Dog Pee Killing Grass
When a dog pees in the yard it’s going to leave either yellow or brown spots. The spots are areas of dead or dying grass.
1. Water Heavily
The best way to put the paddles on grass that’s dying from too much nitrogen (dog pee) is to overwater it. Or at least, flush it out heavily. You’re trying to flush the nitrogen out of the soil.
If the grass is already dead, or even if it isn’t, you can revive the spot after you’ve flushed it thoroughly with water. New grass should take off pretty quickly.
Use a contractor’s mix for fast results. Use the grass type in your yard already for slower, but more natural results.
3. Sod Patches
If you don’t want to wait for new grass seed to establish itself, you can always make sod patches. While sod is expensive, you don’t really need a lot of it to repair dog damage.
You can take a couple of pieces and cut them into little circles that you can place in the dog pee-damaged areas. Make sure to keep your dog off of new sod. When it is first laid down, new sod is particularly susceptible to damage from dog urine.
How to Keep a Dog from Peeing on Your Grass
Now that we’ve covered how to fix the damage to your yard from dog urine, let’s go ahead and cover how to keep the dog from peeing on your grass altogether.
Here are some ways to keep a dog from peeing on your lawn and causing spots.
1. Make a Designated Pee Spot
You can make a mulch bed for your dog to pee on. You can use almost any type of mulch available to you at your local garden store. You’ll have to train them to go there consistently, which is the hard part.
Be aware that there is a certain kind of mulch made from cocoa bean hulls that can be fatal to your dog if swallowed. So you should probably avoid them. It’s not very common.
To get your dog to use their new urination station, take them straight there when they need to go to the bathroom. Immediately after they go, reward them with either a treat or lots of love and affection.
You can also pick up different types of animal urine online. If you dump some urine in there as well it can often jump-start the process as a dog will be drawn to peeing over it.
2. Dietary Supplements
There are dietary supplements available that are supposed to change the nitrogen content of your dog’s urine. We’re letting you know that they exist, but we are not recommending them. It just doesn’t seem natural to change something like the nitrogen content of an animal’s urine.
3. Walk Your Dog
If you’re looking to get them to stop peeing in the yard today, take them for a walk. While your neighbor’s mailbox or the local fire hydrant might not thank you for your new routine, your dog will be more than happy to pee somewhere that isn’t your yard. As an added bonus, your dog will likely poop, and dog poop is bad for yards.
Grass Growing Greener Where Dog Pees?
If your grass is growing greener in the spots where you see your dog urinate, this is a good thing! Your dog has helped you see that your lawn needs more nitrogen. You can pick up nitrogen for your lawn from stores like Home Depot, or Amazon.
Milorganite is one of the more popular brand name options. The linked article will tell you everything you need to know about it.
If your best friend’s dog pee is killing your grass, the situation can be easily remedied.